While the growing dominance of data and analytics in media and marketing decision-making may be daunting for some, for David Gould (pictured above) it’s a career dream come true. Gould is Global Brand President at Performics, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary next month and lays claim to being the original performance marketing agency. While Gould acknowledges that the data revolution and emergence of big data can be overwhelming, he points out that “people are paying closer attention to the types of performance data we can provide. Any performance agency is rooted in test and learn, focusing on optimizing and driving outcomes.”
Gould focuses his organization on making data and analytics less overwhelming and more actionable, recommending several steps to marketers. “Clients struggle with harnessing data they have internally, and they have a ton of internal data to organize,” he says. “Step One is to understand the internal data that’s available, and what analytics resources exist internally to organize and manage it. Typically, there’s a great deal of data, but the ability to convert it to knowledge is limited. I would tell you as a rule of thumb the more data our clients share with us the more we can do to help them. We have some insight into our client data related to performance but data beyond that is the exception. To the extent we can have a broader view of data, we can attach our performance perspective to the Publicis PeopleCloud and expand the insights available to the client.”
Performics is a Publicis Media company headquartered in Chicago with offices in 57 countries. The company “creates connected and personalized digital experiences across paid, owned and earned media.” Gould notes that marketers’ first-party data is often too myopic by skewing toward a customer base that already exists rather than potential customers and opportunities.
Gould points out that 31% of people have researched their most recent purchase with Amazon vs. 21% for Google (Forrester, 2017). “Search marketing was at the tail-end of the planning process,” he explains. “It was the output of strategy. Now, with the breadth of search and performance data, it is at the front of strategy and planning.
“Step Two is that marketers need to get their arms around the direct commerce space,” he continues. “That is really the key focus from a performance marketing point of view. We as performance marketers need to get our arms around direct commerce; we’re seeing eyeballs move to Amazon and Walmart. Recently, there’s been huge growth that comes at the expense of offline channels. It also comes at the expense of search engines.”
Marketers have a comfort level with the data and analytics developed to support search and social marketing. Now, Gould emphasizes, as client strategies become more performance-centric, there is a shift away from traditional search as the centerpiece of the performance space.
Step Three, says Gould, is “engaging your data, analytics and performance marketing partner in the strategic process from the beginning of the campaign or marketing initiative. The more involvement we have, the more we can contribute. We focus on uncovering intent. We drive the thought process in our client conversations to drive planning and strategy. Through intent-based planning and segmentation, our analytics integrate data from the customer roster and from intent segments that can be targeted. We weave intent-based processes into marketing planning and strategy.”
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